Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Outcast - Sadie Jones

Perhaps you can tell from the title that this is yet another serious, sombre book. Still, I loved it.

Note: There is hope for me yet as to enjoying lighter fare. A wonderful blog buddy sent me an on-line book certificate to ensure “good things” happen in my life. (Thank you, my friend.) I spent it on book suggestions from my blog pals. And I will be meeting with yet another blog friend at a bookstore who, when she catches me gravitating toward the serious, sad books, will undoubtedly drag me over to the fun stuff.

I’m going to try something new with this book review. I found a video for The Outcast on YouTube (see below). It’s definitely an effective way to publicize a book but I’m a bit iffy about the whole concept. Why? Well, I’m the sort of person who believes that the book is always better than the movie and the video didn’t quite jive with what my imagination had created while reading. Still, it’s a great video and captures the suspense and drama of the novel.

From the Random House link, a brief synopsis:

“As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice poised for international recognition.

It’s 1957 and Lewis Aldridge is travelling back to his home in the South of England. He is straight out of jail and nineteen years old. His return will trigger the implosion not just of his family, but of a whole community.”

Since the age of ten, Lewis has been a lost soul. The tragic death of his mother and a father emotionally incapable of dealing with or offering comfort to his son contribute to Lewis’s spiraling downward journey to outcast status. It is alarming to witness the escalating damage inflicted upon a child’s soul by adults with their own hidden and selfish agendas.

Rage simmers just below the surface of this young boy. His efforts to contain it, understand it and to control the urge to destroy both himself and the world around him are depicted with great empathy and understanding.

And despite all the anger, sadness and violence, the author manages to convey Lewis’s strength and bravery and a sense of hope for his salvation throughout the story.

Redemption is possible – and can be achieved through the love, faith and understanding of just one other person. But in order to accept this love and faith, you must be able to hold on to at least a tiny bit of faith and hope in yourself. Against the odds, Lewis manages to do just that.


Sherry/Cherie said...

OMG -- you have to move to the light Beth...move to the light!!! The dark side is beginning to give me the shivers and the heebie jeebies...the generosity of your blogging buddy has helped to get you to the light side!! lol!!

I'm with you -- didn't care for the video aspect of promotion -- but, this seems to be the new way and I remember not caring for music videos when they first hit the scene (mind you, I still don't love them) -- I prefer to imagine what I want to see when I hear music but there are some good ones out there....the times, they change...

oreneta said...

So, what'd cha get?

I'm not quite sure I'm ready for this one....I agree about the video production, I like to let my own imagination roam, it can trigger so much more powerful images if you can respond from your own experience rather than a video.

Cheri said...

I love stories brimming with the possibility of redemption. It sounds good. And I think your review method is very creative!

traveler one said...

Beth, I have an idea that might bring a bit of 'lightness' into your day. My daughter works at Indigo at Bay & Bloor-- go drop in on her and tell her we read each others blogs! You'll find her in the gift department, but she loves books so she can help you find a few to read I'm sure.

Mrs. G. said...

We are sisters of the Dark Novel. I just can't quit them.

Beth said...

I'm with sherry....go to the light Beth!!! Follow the light!!!!

You need to read some Emily Giffin...she's funny and thought provoking at the same time.

happy reading! aren't books just the best?

Eileen said...

Lets make a deal, I'll move towards the light, it you do too. The books I have been reading are so depressing. Good, but emotionally so down.

I will be checking this book out. Thanks for the information. I love when you tell us about books.

La La said...

I don't know. I read the dark stuff and it helps me know I'm not alone! SHE'S COME UNDONE is one of my favorite books! What can I say!

The light stuff is okay every once in a while, but really how universal is it??? (Big Smile)

Mom of Three said...

Okay, I'll look for it. Did you ever read the Arranged Marriages book?

I just finished reading TWO books! This is a record because I have small children that will never stop asking questions, therefore I have to be ENGAGED in talking to them. But I read The Pilot's Wife, which was "ehh" and A Thousand Splendid Suns, which was sad but so good.

I like the dark side, I admit. My husband likes Hiaisen, because he's funny, and I can never get into him. I'm on Prozac. He's not.

Go figure.